Storage, The Next Frontier

By | August 6, 2005

I’m more and more convinced that storage and software to order it are the crucial bottlenecks and opportunities in this next stage of the Net. Not earthshattering, I know, but people are acquiring photos and music files at a faster rate than the drop in storage prices, which means somehow, some way, they’re going to have to back them up someplace that’s not their hard drive.

AOL seems to think so too, because they’ve just bought a veteran of the online storage business, Xdrive. As The Register reports:

Said Gio Hunt, a bigwig at AOL Digital Services: “The digitisation of consumer home media is skyrocketing, with consumers and AOL members increasingly looking for easier ways to protect and manage a wide variety of important data files and digital media assets.

“Xdrive will further enhance AOL’s consumer storage offerings to deliver a more safe and secure digital lifestyle for our members,” he said.

I was often frustrated by Xdrive’s software which often seemed clunky and didn’t always work well. And when Gmail came along with their free gigabyte’s worth of storage, the writing seemed to be on the wall. So there’s probably a collective sigh of relief coming from Xdrive HQ. Now it’s up to AOL to make backing up photos online — at file-sizes that make sense — a simple proposition for the average Joe.

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